Bitcoin Used to Buy Stake in Company on the Australian Securities Exchange
By Kevin Helms - June 7, 2017
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announced on Wednesday that bitcoin will be used to buy a stake in a company listed on its exchange. Blockchain Global Limited (BGL) has agreed to buy a 40% interest in Digitalx, paying partly in bitcoins.
The First Case of Bitcoin Strategic Investment on ASX
According to an announcement by the ASX, bitcoin will be used in a strategic investment on the exchange for the first time. The exchange wrote:
"First tranche funding through bitcoin – a first for the Australian Securities Exchange."
The agreement is between BGL and Digitalx, a blockchain-enhanced software solutions group listed on the ASX. Digitalx’s “Airpocket” application allows consumers to make secure and cost-effective money transfers worldwide.
Founded in 2014 and formerly known as Bitcoin Group Limited, BGL provides Bitcoin mining, software, and consultancy services involving blockchain technology. The company has agreed to invest AUD$4.35 million at 2.7 cents per share to acquire roughly a 40% interest in Digitalx on a fully diluted basis.
BGL is paying AUD$300,000 of the total investment by way of a convertible loan in bitcoin. Of the remaining $4.05 million, $550,000 will be paid via convertible notes and the rest in shares.
This investment is subject to shareholder approval and due diligence which would be done by June 30. If the shareholder approval is not obtained, Digitalx has agreed to pay BGL a break free penalty of AUD$100,000.
Previous Deal Between BGL and Digitalx
BGL operates ACX.io which is Australia’s largest and most liquid bitcoin exchange by volume. According to the company’s CEO Sam Lee earlier this year, the exchange has 60 percent market share of the total bitcoin market trade volume in the country.
In February, BGL entered into a revenue sharing agreement with Digitalx to onboard customers of Digitalx Direct bitcoin exchange onto ACX.io. In return, Digitalx would receive 50% of all revenue generated from customers introduced to the ACX.io.
Australia Warming up to Bitcoin
Australia announced last month that bitcoin’s double taxation will end on July 1. After over a year of delay, the government finally included the removal of the double taxation of bitcoin in its 2017-2018 budget.
“Currently, consumers who use digital currencies can effectively bear GST twice: once on the purchase of the digital currency and once again on its use in exchange for other goods and services subject to the GST,” the budget explains. Citing “the Government will make it easier for new innovative digital currency businesses to operate in Australia,” the budget details:
"From 1 July 2017, purchases of digital currency will no longer be subject to the GST, allowing digital currencies to be treated just like money for GST purposes."